In her new book This Close to Happy: A Reckoning with Depression (Farrar), Daphne Merkin pushes back against the stigma surrounding mental illness, speaking openly about her lifelong struggle with depression. June Sayers summarizes the content of the book in her Booklist review: “Merkin allows readers inside her head to experience the darkness, as she recalls her difficult yet symbiotic relationship with her mother…She discusses her sessions with child psychiatrists and, later, ‘a long series of shrinks’; her passionate identification with Virginia Woolf, one of literature’s most famous suicides; her stays in psychiatric hospitals; her postpartum depression; and her ever-present fear of being found out ‘for the sad sack I felt myself to be.'”
The book trailer this week is simple yet effective. The viewer hears Merkin’s voice reading an excerpt from her book while instrumental music plays quietly in the background and different images—Merkin herself, a cozily-decorated house, home videos—appear on the screen. Even from the small passage Merkin reads, it is immediately evident just how heart-wrenching, raw, and brutally honest her memoir is. Yet despite the intrinsic pain and sadness that fills it, This Close to Happy never lets go of one of the most important and universal human emotions: hope.